Moved this here since it is really about the list build.
We only "traded out" because we were forced to, unless you're referring to Giles.....
Look, I had no problem trading out in 2015 or 2016. In fact, I advocated it both times. In 2015 I pointed out that compared to our peak in 2013 we had lost Ryder, Crameri, Winders, Fletch, Carlisle, Melksham and a bunch of our most important players had moved the wrong side of 30. Fremantle was desperate for a key forward, teams like Richmond/North might take an older player if we subsidised their salary to increase the trade value. In 2016 anyone who was a FA would have maximised value. Hooker leaving would have got us pick #2. Hurley would have got us top value.
And this would all have freed up cap so we could have taken a salary dump like Carlton did with GWS to get a good youngster cheap.
However, we didn't. Why would anyone trade for a Stanton/Bags/Watson now? They're too old. Belly and Myers have no exposed form, and have long term contracts clubs would need to pick up. Not likely. So when people say trade out older assets, really means you're talking Hooker and Hurley. Who due to the year out are looking down on previous form, and have long term high cost contracts. Not very conducive to getting good market value.
As I said in the free agent thread. If we do a 180 and suddenly start selling players now at the low end of the cycle, the person(s) in charge of list strategy should be fired.